Rise in UK-Based Tech Start-Ups Following EU Referendum

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Analysis from UK-based accountancy consultants RSM shows the number of technology startups more than doubled in either months since June, compared with the previous eight month period.

Analysis from Companies House records shows the number of tech-related incorporations rose from 2,325 to 5,995 in the eight months to the end of February. The largest number of these were in London with 1741 additional companies, and the South East, followed by the North West which saw 449 software publishing, computer programming, and business and domestic software companies incorporated.

Contrary to an expected post-Brexit vote slump, the sector has thrived since the EU referendum which has been attributed to a fall in value of the pound.

RSM technology partner Richard Heap, said: “There were fears that the Brexit vote would dampen activity in the tech sector and businesses would be attracted overseas. In reality, they are staying and multiplying.

“Clearly the entrepreneurial spirit in the sector is alive and well. We saw a dip in tech company incorporations in the lead up to the referendum, no doubt due to uncertainty surrounding the outcome. However, angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity firms continue to support and invest in the UK tech scene, with overseas investors particularly attracted by the current weakness in sterling.”

Heap also noted that the availability in the UK of tax breaks such as the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is also helping to encourage investment activity.

One example of a gambling start-up from this period is Bookee, a sports-betting app for mobile devices on tablets in a tinder-style swiping manner. The app contains different categories for bets cross different sports, events and markets. Users can swipe a slider to select the stake they wish.

Another example from the gambling sector is Black Type, an online bookmaker which seeks to offer the best margins on horse racing, dog racing and other sports.

Bothe offerings utilise the backend of FSB technology, another relatively new gambling sector startup.

Besides these start-ups for gambling specifically, other recent startups include come from the gaming and eSports sector. One such is Forge which aids players of games in capturing in-game footage to stream or share in the e-sports scene.

Despite the risk inherent in launching start-ups and uncertain economic futures, the UK has shown that it is keen to maintain its reputation for innovation and progression and the gambling sector is joining in with developing new offerings.

Heap from RSM pointed to the downside of the surge in activity. “The war for top talent is fiercer than ever,” he said. “As the proportion of EU workers in the tech sector is far higher than the average – up to a third in London alone – many businesses will want an early resolution to the issue of the status of EU workers in addition to clarity over their ability to recruit overseas talent post-Brexit.”